Walters takes state in dramatic fashion, Park City dominates

MIDWAY — After two cold, occasionally rainy days at Soldier Hollow Golf Course, Park City continued its historic streak in boys golf Thursday as it captured its ninth straight state championship while Juan Diego’s Michael Walters took medalist honors in a dramatic sudden-death playoff after finishing with a two-day total of 140.

The playoff took place on the 18th hole of the Silver Course, a hole that Walters had bogeyed to finish his round.

“I thought it was down the drain at that point,” Walters said of the bogey to end his round.

However, it was all finished for the junior. In the playoff, Park City’s Zane Schemmer and Pine View’s Noah Schone each laid up in front of the creek on the par-5 18th hole, but Walters had a different plan.

“I got to 18 for the playoff and everyone was laying up and I thought: ‘why not go at it?’” Walters said. “It paid off in the end.”

Pay off it did, as he hit a driver and cleared the creek and was able to hit up close to the green while his playing partners could not.

Walters was then in good position to win, sitting two on the fringe of the green, but Schemmer and Schone did not want to let medalist honors escape without some drama.

Schone had taken three shots and was just off the back of the green some 60 feet away. Meanwhile, Schemmer was on the green in three with a 20-foot birdie putt waiting.

While it looked like Schone was just out of the running, he gave it a go and almost holed his lengthy birdie putt from the fringe.

Walters then hit his shot from the fringe, which he almost made, leaving him with a tap-in birdie.

At that point, Schemmer knew he had to make his putt to tie Walters and extend the playoff. He put a good stroke on the putt and as the ball looked like it was going down, Schemmer gave a fist pump only to see the ball lip out, giving Walters the state title.

For Walters, it was a bit of redemption after struggling at the state tournament in 2015.

“Last year I didn’t play well and this year I wanted redemption,” he said.

In the team competition, it may sound like a broken record in 3A, but Park City took yet another state championship in boys golf. The Miners won their ninth straight title in dominating fashion, ending with a two-day total of 569 and beating the next closest team by 42 strokes.

Even with the dynasty, such a big win might have come as a surprise considering the Miners lost senior Drew Flemming in addition to three-time medalist Mitchell Schow. Head coach George Murphy, though, was confident in his team and was proud of the team’s performance.

“They came in and took care of business yesterday and they backed it up today with an even better round,” Murphy said of the team, which improved by seven shots from the first day of state to the second. “Today was just about attacking, being aggressive, being confident and not being tentative.”

Next year, Park City hopes to continue its success as it only had two seniors on this year’s squad in Cole Lee and Josh Lansky. In addition to Schemmer, the Miners will return Eli Kimche, Jack Hanskat and Dean Tsandes from the six players they took for the state team, while Jack Wright and Parker Cutt, who went to state as individuals, will return as well.

Team scores

1. Park City, 569. 2. Logan, 611. 3. Pine View, 612. 4. Ridgeline, 619. 5. Carbon, 621. 6. Union, 623. 7. Desert Hills, 628. 8. Tooele, 630. 9. North Sanpete, 631. 10. Juan Diego, 632.

Individual scores

140 — Michael Walters,* Juan Diego; Noah Schone, Pine View; Zane Schemmer, Park City.

141 — Eli Kimche, Park City.

142 — Austin Jaramillo, Union.

143 — Dean Tsandes, Park City.

145 — Joe Garlick, North Sanpete.

148 — Cole Lee, Park City.

149 — Dakota Millward, Pine View; River Dillman, North Sanpete.

150 — Josh Lansky, Park City; Ryker Smith, Carbon; Jack Wright, Park City.

151 — Brock Taylor, Logan; Seth Tremayne, Logan; Bridger Holmes, Tooele; Tegan Robison, Tooele; Garrett Lindsey, Stansbury; Matthew Millburn, Morgan.

152 — Jack Hanskat, Park City; Jaden Milne, Pine View.

*won in playoff

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